It's now been four glorious years since New Jersey sports betting officially became a thing - following the repeal of PASPA on May 14, 2018 - so we decided to take a look at the current state of play and celebrate 5/14 Forever.
“Everything is legal in New Jersey.”
— Alexander & Philip Hamilton… in unison… in 1801… supposedly…
New Jersey has set a new sports betting record, becoming the first state to surpass $1 billion in sports bets in a single month.— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) October 18, 2021
Sep. 2018: $184 million
Sep. 2019: $445 million
Sep. 2020: $748 million
Sep. 2021: $1.01 billion
NJ has become the sports betting capital of the U.S.
Well, maybe not everything, but here we sit 200-something years later and the Garden State is certainly on its way. Adult-use marijuana. Non-explosive fireworks. The God-given right to remain seated while somebody else pumps your gas. Yes, us New Jerseyans spend most our lives living in a gangsta’s paradise and today happens to be one of our independence days.
It all started around 2010. Somewhere in between running for President and sunning his thighs at Island Beach State Park, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie found the time to sue the NCAA. His goal: Put New Jersey on a path to legal online sports betting. We had been heading to the track and playing the ponies here for years, but there’s only so many times you can sit in Monmouth Park traffic before you’re labeled a true-blue degenerate.
No, what Governor Christie was thinking was outside the exacta box. This would level us up from the dilapidated grandstands and the OTBs. This was the Super Bowl! The NBA Playoffs! The Premier League of Darts! Nathan’s Famous July Fourth Hot-Dog Eating Contest! Anything and everything would be on the table. Sweet action for real - just like Vegas, baby. So the lawsuits were filed and arguments made on behalf of the betting public… for the next eight solid years, in the fight for sports betting in New Jersey.
Until, lo and behold… Four years ago today – May 14, 2018 – the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that overturned the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act” by a vote of 7-2. Anyone who bet on the Yays -4.5 cashed in their tickets and New Jersey was on its way to the winner’s circle. The Court’s vote set into motion a series of fortunate events that ultimately resulted in the placing of actual bets that summer and, for the first time, New Jersey sports betting revenue.
Supreme Court strikes down federal law banning states from allowing sports betting https://t.co/FInLOnU7I5 https://t.co/4QkKIW6QMI Politics, Top Stories May 14, 2018 at 06:37AM— Satish More (@satishread) May 14, 2018
The Supreme Court on Monday said that New Jersey can legalize sports betting, opening the door for … pic.twitter.com/KIJ82g49ZP
Do I remember my first bet? Who doesn’t? It was before sunup, a humid August morning, and the first day of the English Premier League season. My family were all fast asleep, Liverpool-West Ham was about to start, and I didn’t have a dog in the fight. Then, a commercial for DraftKings came on. They were promising free bets and boosted odds and offer codes that could turn all your dreams into realities.
As much as I DID NOT want to provide them with my bank account info, access to my exact location, and a DNA sample taken from the inside of my cheek… I thought, “Can I now bet online in New Jersey? What the hell! Liverpool’s looking strong this year. What’s the worst that could happen?”
I deposited a measly $10 to start my journey into the world of NJ sports betting. I mostly just wanted to see if it worked. The power to place a safe, legitimate sports bet outside of the Vegas city limits felt totally alien. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t work like a charm… that morning and any time after. Liverpool won their match easily and I was the teensiest bit richer before breakfast. It was almost too easy! (Almost. Reasons why it is most definitely NOT too easy number in the billions.)
Four years later and NJ online sports betting is pretty much old hat now. Gone are the days of having to fly five hours to bet on March Madness. Gone are days of knowing a guy called “Nut” from Carteret who can put a bet in with another guy called “The Cow” who will meet you on Tuesday morning in the parking lot of Burger Express to settle up.
No more. From AC to the Meadowlands to the sportsbook in your pocket – it’s here to stay and it’s the Jersey-iest thing goin’!
Why not celebrate 5/14 Forever by securing yourself 5 $100 risk-free bets from PointsBet? Claim them ➡️ here ⬅️.
Related 5/14 Articles: Why the May 14 PASPA Decision was Sports Betting Independence Day